If there are two things hikers don’t want to meet in the wild, venomous rattlesnakes and potentially aggressive bears likely top the list.
That makes it all the more startling that a trail camera in Arizona managed to catch both in the same photo, lounging together at a large puddle.
The bear is seen soaking in the murky water, while the large rattlesnake is just behind it in the photo, sprawled out on the bank.
“Very rarely I get rattlesnakes on my trail cams but got a nice black-tail with this bear as he soaks,” Jason Miller, an Arizona man with an outdoors YouTube channel, wrote on Facebook.
Adding to the surreal image: The bear’s face is dotted with cactus needles, likely from eating prickly pear, Miller says.
The photo was taken in a wilderness area south of Tuscon, he said.
Miller shared the photo this week on the Arizona Snake Identification and Questions Facebook page. The time stamp is from the summer of 2020.
The image has gotten hundreds of reactions on social media in the past day, including questions from people who wondered if the bear had been in a fight with a porcupine. Others wondered if the snake and bear managed to avoid contact.
The snake was identified as a black-tailed rattlesnake, a species that can grow to 5 feet long.
“Two dangerous creatures in one!” Lina Hernandez wrote on the snake ID Facebook page.
“Whoa tough group!” Heather Brumwell said.
“I would never get tired of looking at this one,” Julie Lund Duree posted.